Let me say that the upkeep of a website is a lot of work. You are constantly updating, working with servers and then if there's a problem, it's up to you to fix things. If you have someone maintain the site, it gets expensive. You have hosting charges that apply also. Then you would need to be able to install a shopping cart for people to pay for the items. Can I suggest you take a look at a site that I use all the time? Go to www.etsy.com and look around. All the items are either handmade, vintage or supplies. No bidding and set up looks pretty easy. I'm planning on starting a site there as soon as I build up my inventory.
I also have sold items on Etsy. The set up isn't that hard. You have to make your avatar and banner certain sizes but the rest is easy. you pay etsy a .20 fee for listing and then one when you sell an item. you also pay paypal a small fee but I think it's worth it. There are alot of quilts on it but they have many ways to promote your quilts yourself on the site. GOOD LUCK
I agree that most places charge crazy amts for web design and then the hosting. I also use Etsy.com for SOME things, but it is still a good idea to have a "web presence" of your own. Your own Domain name, a link for email, a chart telling what you charge, etc. and of course a few examples of your work. It's basically an electronic brochure so people can get the 'facts on you' that they need. Then you can post what you're selling currently on Etsy, and link to it if you like from your website, or even just a link that says, Come see my inventory - and put a link that goes to your Etsy store.
you see, I'm a 20 yr veteran of web design, prior to quilting... AND I happen to have previously been 'farmed out' by companies for horrible fees, to the point that I quit that rat race and now offer web design AND hosting to people that don't have the huge budgets to spend.
If you want a website as outlined above, I will design it for $275-$300 (depending on your needs) and host it for $5/month. I think you'll find that more reasonable that anywhere else, only because I want us to have websites!! and not have to pay crazy fees.
You can see my business site at: www.imwebworks.com - I've done other businesses, restaurants, etc.. but am just starting quilting business, so I haven't even thought of a name for ME yet... LOL (shoemaker doesn't get shoes)... but I will have one soon...
message me for details, or with other questions!
I use Etsy to sell my wares online. It is not expensive, but I do recommend some self promotion. I haven't been promoting myself and sales are slim. Read up on their information pages; they have many good suggestions. Set-up is really user friendly and they have all kinds of help pages. I suggest you take the time to read and learn as much as you can, so you will have a successful shop!
Sheryl, if you aren't up to the technical part of web site management, and Etsy covers the kind of sales you want, it's really nice. If you want a personal website, do look at some web hosts that provide easy-to-manage templated pages. You just add stuff to their ready made sites. You can Google or Bing to get a list. Mine is on Yahoo (http://loblollyquiltworks.com) and I pay $9.00 a month (a year up front at a time). Since I provide a service, not wares, it's perfect. But Nancy B is right, it does take time, and I am easily sidetracked (hence very few pictures at the moment--big ideas, no time.) That's a lot cheaper than doing it yourself, though, for you would have to buy a server (or at the least server software), a good web-site editor like Dreamweaver, and learn how to do it. Whichever way you go, make sure you are having fun!
Yes, I use Facebook all the time for keeping in contact with my friends and family. I have a link from my FB page to my Etsy shop, so some of my friends have commented that they have looked at my shop. No sales to my friends, but that is okay. You can also have a "fan page" where you allow people to become fans of your business and then when you post things and fans see it on their news feed. You can pay to advertize on FB, but I haven't gotten into that yet. I am unwilling to put out a lot of cash at this time to promote.
I too had a website with Go Daddy but have just cancelled it in favour of an etsy store. There are many places you can host a free webpage and link it too your etsy store to recieve orders and payments. Etsy is so user friendly, the only hard part is self promotion. I'm still doing a lot of reading up on that subject!!!No matter which way you go, you have to be prepared to do some work daily online to keep up. You can also link your etsy store to your page here just as you can with a website!!!